Eq: Large Cap
Rising rates are upon us. The economy is red hot and a Fed rate hike is imminent, with another likely coming in December. This puts many sectors and stocks at risk. So what are the best sectors and ETFs to invest in right now? Three sectors that stand to benefit are financials, technology, and consumer discretionary, so buying stocks and ETFs there appears a good bet. For technology, Invesco has a momentum focused fund for tech leaders called the DWA Technology Momentum ETF (PTF) which seems interesting. In consumer discretionary, the SPDR Consumer Discretionary Select Sector Fund (XLY) gives good coverage.
FINSUM: All of these bets are cyclical (meaning the sectors benefit because the economy is strengthening when rates rise, which boost consumer spending). Banks are a little bit more compelling to us though, as they benefit from an improved economy, but they also directly gain from rising rates through a better net interest margin.
REITs are a tough area to invest in right now. On the one hand they look vulnerable because of the rising rate environment, but they have also surged recently at the same time as offering enticing dividends for investors. The answer, then, may be to find undervalued REITs, and Barron’s has put out an article helping to do just that. Here are some REITs the publication highlights: Invitation Homes, Front Yard Residential, Digital Realty Trust, InterXion Holding, LaSalle Hotel Properties, and Extended Stay America.
FINSUM: REITs tend to have very good dividends, but tend to suffer during periods of rising rates because of this. They seem like a good source of income right now, but need to be chosen very carefully.
Sometimes balancing good dividends with strong growth is hard. The best dividends tend to come from mature and stable companies, but they often don’t have the best growth prospects. This is usually fine, but it does make them vulnerable in rising rate periods. According, here are ten stocks with strong dividends and good growth potential: SAP, Motorola, NetApp, Logitech, Garmin, Verizon, AT&T, Vodafone, Centurylink, and Consolidated Communications.
FINSUM: This list is very tech and telecoms heavy, but that seems a good balance if you are looing for both growth and strong dividends.
Tech stocks and large caps have been getting all the headlines this year. There is increasingly a fear that only a handful of high-powered large stocks are driving the market. However, the reality is different, as small caps have been doing great. In fact, small caps have actually outpaced even the tech giants in appreciation this year. That is a very healthy sign for the market as it shows expanding breadth, which is typically a sign of a strong bull market that will continue. According to Bob Doll, famed portfolio manager from Nuveen, “Bull markets eventually end, and typically by the time you get to the peak, breadth is gone … This is a broad market move. It’s a good thing. It’s healthy.”.
FINSUM: We agree that this is very good news for the market. Even better, strong earnings growth has tempered high valuations, making things just a bit more reasonable.
We run a lot of bearish stories in FINSUM, and with good reason—there are a lot of them out there and we feel the need to share those views with advisors and investors. However, when there is a credible bullish story, we jump at the chance to run it. Today we have one. Robert Shiller, perhaps the godfather of doom and gloom with his CAPE ratio, has just made an uncharacteristic statement: he says that stocks may rise much higher before eventually falling. The Nobel laureate says “The stock market could get a lot higher before it comes down … It’s highly priced, but it could get much more highly priced”. Shiller had previously been warning (last year) about how overpriced the market was. Shiller says the reinvigorated market has to do with President Trump’s pro-business drive.
FINSUM: It is interesting to hear someone as typically bearish as Shiller saying that stocks may rise a good deal more. Something to pay attention to.
The truth is that most everyone loves dividend stocks. Nowhere is that statement more true than among the US’ retirees, who have a major reliance on dividend income for their everyday expenses. Thus, here are three stable dividend stocks that investors should consider: Scotts Miracle-Gro (~3%), IBM (4.3%), and AT&T. The latter two are well-understood and have strong market positions, with AT&T essentially benefitting from an oligopoly. Miracle-Gro is an interesting choice as it has a good underlying business, but has been hammered this year by a handful of short-term issues, but thus offers a good chance at price growth and a solid dividend.
FINSUM: IBM is almost in the dividend aristocrat club, having raised its payout 23 years in a row. AT&T looks quite stable too.